The Kava Buzz
I've always been interested in exotic superfoods - experimenting with everything from bee pollen to spirulina to maca to cacao. Kava has always intrigued me, and I finally had the opportunity to try it when a friend was visiting from the Bay Area and I was looking for fun things to do. I stumbled upon Rooted Kava Bar in North Park - a small joint offering Kombucha and Kava beverages.
To give you a little background, Kava is a root that is native to the South Pacific, commonly used in ceremonial practices. When drunken in a tea form it stimulates dopamine receptors, increases receptor sites for GABA (the ‘calming’ neurotransmitter), and can be mildly intoxicating. It is a popular solution for people trying to cut back on alcohol, as it relieves stress in a much more harmless way and doesn’t leave you feeling hungover the next morning. In addition to fighting cancer, here is a list of benefits that you can expect to experience after drinking Kava:
- Because of it's relaxing effect, it greatly reduces anxiety and restlessness. It also promotes a good night’s sleep, so it can be a great cure for insomnia.
- Improves focus by helping with ADHD symptoms by enhancing cognition and memory.
- Elevates mood by reducing irritability and depression, increasing a sense of well-being that is complimented by a blissful, euphoric effect.
- The brew of Kava releases kavalactones which prevent your brain from feeling anxiety, which in turn may make you feel more relaxed and able to have a more enjoyable, intimate experience with your partner in that moment. That is why some would say Kava could be considered an aphrodisiac.
- A great immunity booster, studies have shown that Kava lessens the effects of symptoms from UTIs, menstrual discomfort, respiratory tract infections, psychosis, migraines, chronic fatigue, as well as muscle pain (since it is a muscle relaxer.)
Like everything, Kava has some side effects that you may want to consider before trying it out for yourself. Long-term and heavy use of Kava can lead to liver damage, malnutrition (Kava can suppress appetite), loss of motivation, and impaired motor skills. It is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding mothers. It is also a diuretic. If you do decide to try Kava, make sure you do your research and enjoy it in a suitable environment.
It is available for purchase online, if you are curious check out this recommended kava tincture. For those of you who have tried kava, I would love to hear about your experience in the comments below!